“We eat fruit with joy and with abandon, but very occasionally, and for special moments, I prepare fruit-based desserts: pies and stewed fruit compotes, ice creams and sorbets.” Jennifer McGruther, Nourished Kitchen

Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing

If you know Tim, you know how much the man loves fruit. The other day, he turned to me in the car, cruising up I-65, and out of nowhere said, “I’d like to take a few days and eat nothing but blueberries,” which is honestly not that unusual of a thing for him to say. One of our biggest someday dreams is to have our own land with fruit trees and berry bushes, which he likes to remind me his grandparents did on a city lot in Chicago, to explain maybe it’s not such a pipe dream. So of course when we were looking through Jenny McGruther’s beautiful new cookbook,  The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas, the fruit sections stood out.

Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing

“Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers–the foods of gardens and farms. They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits.” Jennifer McGruther

So here’s the skinny: If you’re into traditional foods or familiar with the Weston A. Price crowd, you probably already know about Jenny and her blog, Nourished Kitchen, and how she offers excellent, informative resources about the real-foods-focused life. We love what she says about raw milk and the way she regularly uses einkorn and the fact that she’s got recipes posted for fermented foods like kombucha and water kefir and ginger bug. Much like her blog, the Nourished Kitchen Cookbook showcases recipes for fresh vegetables, pastured meats, raw dairy, fermented foods, and so on, all alongside pretty pictures and in-depth nutritional info. We made her berry panna cotta, and then we made her potato-crust quiche, and when we made this red fruit custard cake, we decided it was time to tell you about it already.

Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing
Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing
Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing
Red Fruit Custard Cake / Food Loves Writing

We’ve talked about a variety of traditional foods lately (i.e., soaked vanilla maple almond butter, perpetual beef broth), but fruit should definitely be included in that lineup, as it’s definitely a food group that our ancestors were eating generations and generations ago, too. Also, when I mentioned above that Tim is such a fruitophile, I didn’t say why, but here’s the thing: Tree foods (and perennial foods) are ideal foods because, typically, they are the most naturally nutrient dense, they have the right form of and the right size of minerals (and these minerals balance blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance), and they are the easiest to digest. They’re also more detoxifying than vegetables (which is why it would be hard for a lot of us to handle eating just fruit) and they’re powerfully hydrating with their high water content.

So yay fruit! But even besides the appeal of the berries in this cake, I’ve been in a custard mood lately (maybe it’s those cream puffs), so as soon as I saw this recipe that called for six eggs, I was in. Akin to fruit clafoutis or a Dutch baby pancake, this custard cake is easy and fast to pull together, bakes in 45 minutes, and emerges from the oven so pretty and puffed and dimpled, you want to eat it right away. The red berries soften and sweeten while baking, staining the dough around them that’s part pudding, part cake, and pure comfort food. Plus, bonus fact, while you can use any red fruit and fresh are ideal, we can also tell you firsthand that it works great with frozen strawberries, so there’s no reason not to make it right now, this spring, even before berries are at their peak in the produce section.

I want to learn more about traditional food! How do I get Jenny’s book?

The Nourished Kitchen Cookbook launches April 15—a week from tomorrow. You can preorder it right now on Amazon (and if you do, head over to NourishedKitchen.com to let Jenny know because she’s offering a bunch of bonus incentives for all preorders), or you can win a copy* here in this post. To enter, leave a comment telling us your favorite fruit and/or what you like to do with it. A random winner will be chosen this coming weekend.The winner is Jacqui MacKenzie! Congratulations!

Red Fruit Custard Cake

By: FoodLovesWriting.com

Serving Size: 6 to 8

Red Fruit Custard Cake

Lightly adapted from The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh, in-season strawberries (or other red fruit, such as currants, raspberries, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons einkorn flour (or other all-purpose flour)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Whipped cream, yogurt, or kefir mixed with maple syrup for drizzling on top to serve

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and butter and flour a 9" round cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the fruit with two tablespoons of flour, until it's all coated. Spoon them into the prepared cake pan. Add eggs and cream to that now-empty bowl, whisk them together, and then whisk in the sugar until everything's combined.

In a separate, large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Pour the wet mixture into this dry one, stirring until smooth and uniform. Pour this mixture over the fruit in the cake pan.

Bake 45 minutes, until edges of cake are set and lightly golden but the interior still jiggles just a little when you shift the pan. Let cake cool slightly before serving warm, topped by whipped cream, yogurt, or kefir mixed with maple syrup.

http://foodloveswriting.com/2014/04/07/red-fruit-custard-cake/

*Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sending us a review copy of Nourished Kitchen and sponsoring this giveaway!

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. T K Park

    My favorite fruit …the Italian (prune) plums…I like to eat them out of hand until I feel like I cannot possibly eat one more….until the next day.

  2. ashley

    that cake looks delicious! i’m excited for summer fruit (berries!) to be in season soon. :) right now, i am currently loving grapefruit-scooping it right out of the skin is my favorite way to enjoy it!

  3. Jacqui

    I planted a couple of blueberry bushes last spring because I cannot get enough blueberries in the summer. I’m hoping they do well but from what I’ve read, they probably won’t produce fruit for another year and even then, I will have to battle the birds for them. I tried strawberries in a container but didn’t really get a lot of fruit out of them, but it was still fun seeing the pretty berries grow!

  4. Kelley

    Saturday, my favorite was pineapple, because we ate it grilled with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Bliss!

    Sunday, my favorite was the pear that was at the exact point of ripeness to be both not crunchy and not squishy.

    Tomorrow, it may be strawberries, which I like best with nothing, but I also enjoy in a million different recipes.

    And then blueberries will be ripe and they’ll be my favorites, frozen and perfect for summer snacking.

    Please. No more requests for a “favorite” food!

  5. felicia | Dish by Dish

    My favorite fruit is definitely strawberries – i love that on its own, it’s a pretty popping red with flesh so juicy and sweet, yet combined with anything else (like whipped cream, or on top of cake and mascarpone cheese, or crepes and waffles) it lends a beautiful complimentary flavor and still stands out at a centerpiece. AHHH. I wish it was spring/summer again here in Buenos Aires – I’m missing strawberries and summer fruits!! This custard cake looks beautiful Shanna!!

    Enjoy your Spring!
    xoxo,
    F.

  6. Molly

    Oh gosh, so many to choose from. For the summertime: a blueberry muffin recipe. In the wintertime, persimmon pudding. Although, at the end of the season a few weeks ago I had a persimmon and kale salad with fried shallots and marinated soft tofu. I can’t stop thinking about it.

  7. Rachel

    Mmmm, this custard sounds incredible! Jenny is the best! I love blueberries…always include them in my smoothies. I might be due to make some blueberry pancakes one day soon!

  8. Nicole

    I can’t discriminate and pick any one fruit, because anything at its seasonal peak is perfect out of hand. But if I HAD to pick, I’d have to say either cherries (out of hand), peaches (grilled with toasted/grilled pound cake and barely whipped cream with a vanilla bean scraped into it), mangoes with chiles and lime juice, or strawberry and black pepper sorbet/ice pops.

  9. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    OK, first – these photos are breathtaking! Love, love, Shanna! And my favorite fruit is so hard to choose from… but strawberries are hard to top. I’m dying to try this strawberry balsamic pie from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds book… how good does that sound?!

  10. Lisa

    My favorite fruit is the mamey. I eat in in Mexico when I go to visit my fiance’s family. It’s so creamy that I’ve always wanted to make a vegan ice cream with it. I think that would be absolutely delicious!

  11. Bethany

    Strawberries – I’m already impatiently waiting for them to come in so I can make that wonderful raw berry pie. It’s always my favorite in the beginning of summer.

  12. Joyti

    Ooo, I’d love to live somewhere with lots of fruit trees and berry thickets, and trees as far as the eye can see…how lovely.
    I’m not familiar with Nourished Kitchen, thanks for the introduction. The custard cake looks marvelous!

  13. Jennifer

    My favourite fruit has always been fresh peaches, or nectarines. This love was reinforced as a child by a book of poems my mom read to me that had a poem called Munching Peaches (“…in the summer, munching peaches cool and sweet…”) I always eat my whole stash before I can process them into jams, cakes, etc.

    Strawberries and cherries are also high on my list. I’ve been experimenting with making strawberry balsamic vinegar shrubs to dilute with cold water for a refreshing drink. I’d love to try it with cherries later in the summer. Adding basil might be interesting too.

  14. Julie D

    I love bananas. I truly love bananas. And limes. But mostly bananas. I throw bananas in anything I can think of but to be honest my favorite thing to do is just to munch on one before a nice long run.

  15. Sarah Kate Branine

    Oh man, I’m so behind on your beautiful blog and I feel guilty leaving a comment on a giveaway post for starters. . .

    But I totally laughed out loud at the line about Tim wanting to eat just blueberries for a few days. Love that : ) Also, I’d love to be sitting there eating that dessert with you just so we could talk about what God is doing in our lives. And also to eat. that. custard cake!

    p.s. My favorite fruit is either mango or watermelon. And my favorite thing to do with it is eat it. K. Done with the smarty pants comments now : )

  16. Allison

    This looks delicious! Your photos are beautiful (as always). I love their simplicity. I have a hard time choosing a favorite fruit- I like so many! Strawberries are definitely up there, as are apples, pears, and peaches.

  17. Cassie

    I can’t wait for Jenny’s book! Her blog is so great. My favorite fruit is definitely nectarines. I generally eat them plain, because there’s nothing better than a perfect nectarine. However, I did have a perfect nectarine sliced into a crepe with whipped cream a couple summers ago at the farmers market, and that was pure heaven.

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